Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is the Universe a sim?

  1. Dec 17, 2012 #1

    "millions of virtual universes with billions of simulated brains in them."

    Reminds me of the last scenes in 2001:A Space Odyssey. The white room is not real; it is
    a sim of Dave's memories. Do zoo or nature preserve animals know they are in it? No.
    Do goldfish know they are in an aquarium? No. Food comes from above, and they swim around, some creatures look at them, that's life.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    They could call their envionment "aquarium". Where is the problem?
    They could see a correlation between the creatures looking at them and food coming from above (assuming they are fed manually). They could (given enough time) observe ageing of those creatures looking at them, and see the result of reproduction. With a human-scale intelligence, more fishs to work in science and the option to build special equipment, they could discover most of our modern physics, significant parts of biology and chemistry and evolution. They could study cells of the human skin falling into the aquarium, and even discover similarities between their DNA and ours.

    I think it is very hard to run simulations so accurate that no deviation can be observed with current technology, unless the timescale of those simulations is very short (like hours or days of our time).
  4. Jan 1, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  5. Jan 1, 2013 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A sophisticated sim would be indistinguishable from 'reality'. In fact, the 'computer' running that sim could also be a sim.
  6. Jan 1, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    @Chronos," turtles, all the way down."
  7. Jan 1, 2013 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This is not physics.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook